Just One More


I've always heard that the transition of going from two kids to three is the hardest for most parents.  Today I'm here to testify that's it true, at least for me. 

Just yesterday as I was sitting on my front porch watching my 2 and 3-year-old play in a pool full of soapy water while their younger brother took his morning nap, I realized how much easier life seems when I only have two kids to take care of.

There is this instant relief that comes from having one child safely tucked away out of harms way (and out of my hair) leaving me free to play with the other two.

Contrast that to just a few hours before when my husband was trying to get the kids settled in for breakfast. I walked through the kitchen, and I could just feel the chaos running behind me trying to grab me and bite my knee caps (turns out it was my 1 year-old). Life felt overwhelming, loud, and crazy.

That is the difference between two kids and three.

I mentioned this phenomenon to my husband, and he agreed that on those rare occasions he just has two kids life flows more smoothly. And the combination of children doesn't really matter much. Take any two you like and the chaos just seems to diminish 100 fold. 

The extra work that comes from having three children is rooted in the fact that I only have two hands. 

I have to make an extra trip to carry anything anywhere: plates from the kitchen, drinks from the fountain, kids from the car.

Likewise, whether I'm trying to get everyone through the parking lot or simply get them inside from the backyard, one of my kids is always free to run loose. I can only hold hands, carry two babies or grab two shirt tails. 

Then there is the waiting and the sharing that is inevitable in a house with three children. Whether it's teeth brushing, or going down the slide, or sitting in mom's lap, there just isn't room for everybody at one time! Someone is always waiting impatiently and rather loudly for something they need right now. 

But really I think the main challenge of having three kids (especially ones as young as mine) is this feeling of always being outnumbered. With two kids I can still pretend I’ve got in under control, but add that third child into the mix and suddenly there doesn't seem to be enough mom to go around. 

I read a blog post the other day by a mom listing all the reasons having only two kids was perfect for her family. She mentioned many of the things I did, the challenges I live out everyday.

And she concluded that having that third child, throwing her family off balance just a bit, simply wasn't worth it. Having three children was just too inconvenient.

She's right about that. Having three kids is inconvenient. It's also wonderful, fun, and worth every ounce of trouble.

I think sometimes our problem as parents is that we think about our future kids as numbers. We think about how inconvenient #2 or #3 or #4 would be if we were to open ourselves up to one more child. 

I recently read a Facebook thread from someone asking the question, "How many kids would you have in an ideal world and how many would you have in the real world?"

The answers were telling and surprisingly consistent. Most people's ideal answer and real world answer only varied by one (sometimes two) children.

It seems that 90% of the moms thought that in an ideal world they would have one more child.

Just one more.

As I read those answers I really wanted to ask, "What's stopping you?!?!"

But I know what the response would be. In fact, most people I know think having one more child is absolutely crazy, and I get that, because some days it seems absolutely crazy to me too. 

I know how hard, how expensive, how utterly frustrating my kids can be and the idea of adding another number to our mix is just plain ridiculous. 

But then again, it's not a number. It's a person. 

I'm reminded of this every time I get a chance to spend a few minutes alone with any one of my children. The noise dies down, and I have a chance to just hold them, rock them, and love on one of my little ones. 

As I gaze into that sweet face I ask myself, "If this child was the only one, would I love them any less?" 

Maybe that seems like a strange question, but for me it's grounding. When I focus my attention on just one child, I’m reminded just how unique and valuable they are apart from siblings.

Each of my children were created by God and given to me so that I could love them and teach them to love Him. They come with their own personality, and that makes them wonderful.  

God has a plan for each of my children, not just now while they are in my care, but a plan for their future, perhaps a family and children of their own one day. They will have people that will depend on them, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. These children will make an impact on the community around them. 

It's all about perspective. You can choose to go through life focusing on all those things that cause you trouble, those moments when you want to pull your hair out; or you can choose to focus your mind and heart on what matters most. 

You can think of growing your family in terms of another number, consuming your time and costing you money; or you can think about that new person, a baby you will love unconditionally, but also a person who will grow into a man or woman after God’s own heart.

Of course, I know that not every family can have another child. Not every family wants one.

But I know that no matter how crazy life gets around here, we'll always be open to the possibility that God has just one more child for our family. 

Because all of the best little people I know started out as "just one more," and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. 


  1. Yes! Whenever we're having the "should we or shouldn't we have another" conversation, regardless of how many logical points we can come up with that reveal a lack of wisdom in adding another child to the mix, we still keep coming back to that same spot --- "but, look at #3. Imagine if we'd said we were done? We're so happy #3 is a part of our life and can't imagine it any other way. Wouldn't we feel that way about #4?!" They're not numbers...they're individual beautiful souls! I tell my second and my third (while they're still young, though I may have to retire the phrase when they're older, lol) - "I love you as if you were my very first!!" Thanks for the great thoughts to ponder.

  2. Two was a lot harder for me than three. I would have stopped and been done because it was that hard. If I had that hard of a time with two I didn't think there was anyway I could handle three. My husband encouraged me to keep going and three was such an easy transition. He just fit right in and everything seemed great. We're having a fourth in a couple months and I haven't been encouraged by some of my friend's experiences. God's grace will see us through. ;)



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